By: Dallas J. Short
This year’s NBA Draft kicked off Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. As the masses filled the stands, watched on tv or followed along on social media, the fan’s Christmas was about to go down. Would they get everything they wanted?
Here’s a quick look at the first five selected. The top four picks are all 19 years old, and number five turned 20 just a few months ago.
With the first selection of the draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves chose Karl-Anthony Towns, the former University of Kentucky center makes history by being the first Hispanic player to ever be the top pick. He’s 6 feet 11 inches and weighs 250 pounds, so the size is legit and like I had mentioned he is only 19. The T’Wolves are rebuilding nicely and while I’m unsure he’ll be a big impact player next season. This kid could be something special in the years to come.
Second up, after a shockingly disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers took D’Angelo Russell, from Ohio State. Another young choice, this year’s theme? With Kobe’s end in near sight, could he be their guard of the future? The Lakers better hope so or figure something out soon. I’ve been seeing a lot of purple and gold magically turn into red and blue. Good luck to the Laker Loyals as they work to reclaim their top spot in the West.
Three is the magic number. My Philadephia 76’ers picked up Jahlil Okafor, another big man at 6 feet 11 inches and weighing 270 pounds. I was surprised Okafor made it down to the third choice and a bit surprised the Sixers picked him up. We have two big guys already, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. I guess if we’re unsure if/how Embiid will play next year, then we might need Okafor. Plus, Okafor is great, lead Duke to the National Championship. However, before I start raising my 2016 NBA Championship banner, I remember that…we’re the Sixers and we will probably end up trading away anyone who starts to shine.
The Knicks, the Knicks, the Knicks. Easily one of the most passionate fan bases in the NBA. So when things didn’t go their way their way and Okafor didn’t fall in their lap and the team drafted Kristaps Porzingis, a Latvian forward, saying the crowd erupted into boos is an understatement and yep, the internet exploded too. Frank Kaminsky might have been a better choice, just off name recognition. Knicks fans are hating Porzingis, most with knowing nothing about him. The last time the Knicks had a draft pick this high, it was Patrick Ewing. The frustration is beyond real in the Big Apple. This kid will not end up with his jersey retired, but I think he will fit in and add to the Knicks.
Orlando Magic also went overseas for their selection, Croatia’s Mario Hezonja. I don’t know too much about him, except the Magic have been watching him develop for a while, he supposedly tiptoes that cocky/confident line and is a beast on the court. I haven’t watched the Magic (on purpose) since they got rid of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick. I am a Nik Vucevic fan though, so hopefully this new addition helps him and Orlando out.
With all the reactions and overreactions to this year’s selections, the saying “time will tell” rings loud and true. Don’t jump off the bridge or plan a parade just yet. Believe in your team through the ups and downs.
Here are some social media reactions from NBA players, sports writers and fans.
I know I have a lot of friends who had strong opinions about what their team did or didn’t do in the first round. How are you feeling about your squad’s picks and next season?
As always, if you like what you read, please be social and share.